Verizon in NoVA Sucks

“Thanks,” I say to the customer service representative for a national household goods chain, “I really appreciate it.”

I hang up and Good Man says, “You don’t sound like you ‘really appreciate it.'”

What I would appreciate is some decent customer service from any company.

And with that intro! Verizon.

Verizon DSL service sucks, flat out. Do not get them.

Good Man and I ordered Verizon’s DSL service Saturday, July 26th. We got their installation kit on Thursday the 31st. I called Verizon, hoping to get the service turned on faster. After being on hold for more than 20 mins, I got some woman who could not speak English well enough to understand. Her name, of course, was “Lisa.” (I have no problem with outsourcing to India; I have a problem with trying to hide it.) I consider myself fairly well traveled and I’ve conversed with many, many non-native speakers. Being a non-native speaker (of Korean) myself, I try to be as patient as possible. So when I said I couldn’t understand this woman, I truly meant it. She transfered me, and I was informed that it was impossible to turn on my service early, “but it might happen.”

Fine. Our service was supposed to start August 5th. Starting August 4th, Verizon started calling me (at 8:34 in the morning) with automated messages to “enjoy your new high-speed DSL service.”

Still, it wasn’t August 5th yet, so I ignored the message.

August 5th, I got another automated message (at 8:34 am). But when I got home, the service wasn’t on. At 4:30 pm on August 5th, I called Verizon, asking when it would be turned on. Another outsourced dude told me the service would be on by 6:00 pm.

At 6:15 I called again, asking why my service wasn’t working. A very nice woman helped me, then put me on hold for 48 minutes before telling me that “I talked to three departments, and I was told to tell you that we can’t help you because all the departments are closed, so you need to call back tomorrow at 8 am.”

She had to be kidding, right? Oh, but she wasn’t.

At 10:00 pm, we got an email from Verizon telling us the service was working. But since we got that email by borrowing some neighbor’s open wireless…. Well, Verizon wasn’t working.

Wednesday, August 6th, at exactly 8:00 am, I called Verizon again. I explained the problem and said, “I have exactly 15 minutes to talk to you before I need to work. What can we do in 15 minutes?” The man did a line test (finally!) and found that something seemed to be wrong with the line. “Can you please call my boyfriend and talk to him? He’s at home, he knows computers.”

The man agreed and took Good Man’s number.

At 8:34 am, I got another frickin’ automated message from Verizon telling me to “enjoy” my service.

At lunch I called Good Man. Service Dude had, indeed, called Good Man and done several line tests. He’d also arranged to have a technician come out.

Come out at Friday, August 8th, at 8:00 pm.

I called Verizon, was put on hold for 23 minutes and finally got someone. I said, “This is unacceptable. The service was supposed to be turned on yesterday. I was put on hold for over 45 minutes yesterday, only to be told, ‘nobody will help you because it’s after six.’ I had to talk to multiple people before anyone thought of running a line test. Yet, I keep getting automated phone calls telling to enjoy some non-existent service.”

“I’m sorry ma’am, but Friday at 8 is the earliest we can come out.”

Nobody had, at this point, offered me any sort of credit or compensation for the hassle. Nobody had given me their direct phone number. Everybody had said, “I’m here to help you solve your problems,” but nobody had helped and further, nobody had even apologized for the hassle.

I took a deep breath and calmly said, with the voice I use on my 12-year old students, “Your company has until 6 pm to fix my internet service. If you can’t do that, I need to cancel. Which phone number do I need to call for that?”

“Ma’am, we really can’t help you.”

“I used to work in customer service. Someone in your company can help me. Nobody is willing to. That is why I need the phone number.”

Before going home, I checked with some coworkers about their service providers, and got an idea of whom I wanted to switch to.

That evening, the service was indeed, not working. So I called and canceled. I also canceled the service call. You know, the one for Friday at 8 pm?

That night Good Man and I signed up for cable internet service. Moments after we’d placed the order, we realized we’d made a mistake. We called customer service and added what we wanted to. Without asking, the woman gave me her name and her direct phone number. We were able to have the service technician come out Thursday morning between 8 am and 10 am, and if he was late, we’d automatically get a $20 credit.

Well, the service guy came out, but something was wrong with the cable. He took Good Man’s number, told him where he was going, and came back around 3 pm. By the time I got home, Good Man was happily typing away.

Wow. What a difference. (I later found out from Mark that the phone lines in NoVA suck and you want to get cable internet rather than DSL.)

Thursday morning, I got another automated call from Verizon.

Friday, around 7:30, some man called me. “Yeah, dis is Verizon, you wan’ servi’?”

“Um, no. I canceled that call Wednesday night.”

“You don’ wan’ ‘nt’rnet?”

“We have internet from one of your competitors. I’ve sorry Verizon didn’t cancel your work order. I canceled it two days ago.”

The man on the other end said, “Yeah, no prob. Dey alway’ be doin’ dat.”

Finally, a Verizon employee tells the truth.